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Current awareness resources

Liaison librarian

  • pamela [dot] harrison [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-6272

Current awareness resources can alert you to the latest information, keeping you informed and saving you time. Alerts are sent directly to your email inbox or to your RSS feed reader. You can choose from several different options, explained below.

If you need help or have questions, contact your liaison librarian.

Subject alerts by email

You can receive an email alerting you to new articles that match your specific subject criteria.

For general medical subjects, you can use a service called Amedeo.

For more specific searches, you can create a search in a database and have the database send you an email when new articles that match your search are included in the database. Each database works a bit differently, and you will have to sign up for an account for each one.

This type of alert is best when you have a very specific set of criteria or want to search across a wide range of journals.

The following biomedical databases allow you to set up subject alerts:

New publication alerts by email

You can receive the Table of Contents (or TOC) of new journal issues directly in your email inbox.

To sign up for journal titles, go to the journal publisher's website. The links to many major biomedical journal publishers are included below. Follow the instructions for setting up an account. After you have set up an account, you can set up the alerts for your chosen journals.

Many publishers publish more than one journal, so you can receive table of contents for many journals with just one account.

This type of alert is best when you want to see all of the articles published in a particular journal or particular set of journals.

Some individual journal titles

Life Sciences Journal Publishers

Subject and new publication alerts by RSS Feeds

You can receive subject alerts and new publication alerts as RSS Feeds.

Medworm is an excellent resource for finding news feeds by topic in Medicine.

Biomedical databases with RSS feeds

Subscribing to RSS feeds from databases can be tricky, so the following help pages should make it a bit easier.

Some individual journal titles with RSS Feeds

RSS feeds from journal publishers

Usually you do not need to create an account for RSS feeds. Search for journal titles at these publisher websites. On each journal's home page, look for the RSS feed symbol to subscribe.

Setting up alerts in Ovid databases

Email alerts

  1. Sign in to your account and conduct your search.
  2. Click on the "Save search history" button underneath the search history.
  3. Give your search a name and choose "AutoAlert (SDI)" from the dropdown menu. A list of options will appear.
  4. Choose the frequency of the email. The default setting will send the alert if new material appears when the database is updated (the frequency varies by database).
  5. Enter your email address. You can change other options if you'd like, or leave them on the default settings.
  6. Click the "save" button.

RSS feeds

  1. Sign in to your account and conduct your search.
  2. Click on the orange RSS button at the bottom of your search history. A small window will appear. Uncheck the box and click "save".
  3. A new window will open. Give your search a name and choose the frequency of your updates. Click on "Save"
  4. A red box will appear at the top of a new screen. Click on the link that appears next to the orange RSS symbol. Choose your feed reader. Click the subscribe button and follow the instructions for your particular reader.

Setting up alerts in PubMed

Before setting up email alerts in PubMed, you must sign up for a free account.

RSS feeds do not require an account.

Information on creating email alerts and RSS feeds can be found on this help page. RSS feed information is found later in the article.

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